OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Mark Andrews was not around for last year’s finale, when the Baltimore Ravens watched their playoff ambitions endon Tyler Boyd‘s fourth-down touch down in the final moments.

The rookie tight end, but knows exactly about the very painful regular season finish in franchise history.

“When [the rookies] got brought here, it had been a thing that was talked about,” Andrews said. “It’s been talked about it whole time from players to coaches. It’s a thing which ’s on everyone’s mind. We’re aware of exactly what happened last year. I think that’therefore an important thing to get, is actually a whole lot of guys working [supporting ] the same goal, and this ’s exactly what we now ’re doing.”

The Ravens face exactly the same scenario as last year entering eyebrow 17: Acquire and also get into the postseason.

Baltimore (9-6) must beat the Cleveland Browns (7-7-1) in M&T Bank Stadium to clinch its original AFC North title in six decades and generate a house playoff game. Even the Ravens’ projected opportunities have reached 82.3 per cent, the greatest chances for a team not yet in the postseason.

But the Ravens players know more than anyone there is no sure thing. Last week, Baltimore’s play off chances were at 96.6 per cent before Boyd’s 49-yard touch down occurred on fourth-and-12 with 44 seconds remaining.

“Certainly, a year ago doesn’t sit well with us,” cornerback Brandon Carr said of the 31-27 loss to Cincinnati. “We needed a prime opportunity to extend our season, and we failed at it. We didn’t even finish the job, so that’s why this year, the craft of finish is so enormous for us. Just finding ways to win this game by any means necessary, draining your tank, giving your all, and then we’ll reload for a few weeks as we arrive.”

Are there some lessons to be gained out of the finale of last year?

“Finish,” Carr said.

That was only the hottest tragic defeat in December for Baltimore.

“We all know where we’ve ever been. We don’t even should talk about any such thing. We all know,” trainer John Harbaugh said. “We’ve all learned from most of our past experiences this year, a year ago, previous decades, all those things, the guys who have been here. The guys who were here, that pushes us, certainly. Whenever you get a gut-wrenching experience, a rough one like we had the past couple of decades, you just take the ones with you, plus it makes you stronger.”

Baltimore believes its defense is significantly stronger than the previous two seasons. The Ravens defense is 1 game apart from finishing No. 1 to the second time in franchise history (the other time was 2006).

Baltimore could still reach the postseason when it falls into the Browns, and also the heavily favored Steelers lose in the home to the Bengals. That’s simply not in the Ravens’ mindset right now.

“In the start of growing season, if we say we all control our fate moving into the last game, we can acquire the division, we’ve all signed up for that,” Harbaugh said. “That’therefore the objective. So, we’re enthused about that, now we get to play a championship game, and let’s proceed.”


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